Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Copyrights offer “protection” for creators of “original works of authorship” – including literary, musical, dramatical, and certain other intellectual works. Those certain other intellectual works are of interest to inventors - because they include game rules, instructions, artwork and other appearance features of products and packaging.

You can announce your notice of copyright by simply following proper marking procedures.No other forms or registration is really required. It’s really simple.

Protection “automatically” begins upon creation of the work, and will last for the lifetime of the author – plus 70 years after death. Now that’s longevity of protection. But, it’s still prudent to establish a “public record” with a Certificate of Registration from the Library of Congress. Not the USPTO. The Library of Congress – specifically, the Register of Copyrights. Go to:

I registered my book copyright (as noted inside, with the circled C) It cost me $45to register. Nearly anything we print we add a copyright warning, even our display cards. All our pictures, instructions and authored materials are covered by copyright.

We’ve discovered some people don’t think so. We still find our pictures, and instructions used by Spalding and Russell Corporation – and they stopped paying us some time ago.

Sure, you’ve heard some of the story. They eagerly signed our Marketing Agreement and agreed to payment terms. But, they changed their mind about paying me the “inventor residual”. They wanted it all, and sly attorneys found a “legal” way out of paying me. You might call that smart, or maybe you’ll smell a hint of excessive greed.

Man, there’s a real horror story every inventor should hear. I plan to tell it. Maybe it will get noticed by Warren Buffett or one of his underlings. I still wonder if those attorneys know anything about copyright laws.

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